On Friday 12 May 2017 a global ransomware attack, known as WannaCry, affected more than 200,000 computers in at least 100 countries. Those affected by the cyber-attack faced a ransom demand to unlock their devices. In the UK, the NHS was particularly affected with about 80 of 236 NHS trusts across England suffering disruption, because they were either infected by the ransomware or had turned off their devices or systems as a precaution. WannaCry also infected another 603 NHS organisations including 595 GP practices. The NHS had to cancel almost 20,000 hospital appointments and operations, and five accident and emergency departments unable to treat some patients had to divert them to other hospitals. At 4pm on 12 May, NHS England declared the cyber-attack a major incident and implemented its emergency arrangements to maintain health and patient care. On the evening of 12 May a cyber-security researcher activated a kill-switch so that WannaCry stopped locking devices.
18 March 2018